Who knew that Miley Cyrus would be the person to bring twerkin’ to the mainstream. And yet, here we are.
Last week, Miley Cyrus released a video of herself twerkin’ with a unicorn outfit on. What makes the video especially interesting is that Miley Cyrus was dancing to “Wop,” a song by independent artist J. Dash.
J. Dash kicked it with GlobalGrind, where we talked about Miley Cyrus’ twerkin,’ his musical background and what he has coming up next.
GlobalGrind: Is it true that “Wop” is back in the Billboard Hot 100?
J.Dash: Oh, yeah.
I’m not sure yet. I just had my interview with Billboard today and they told me I had made it back in the top 100, so I don’t know what number it is yet. Fresh news!
You don’t have to say dollar amount, but is there a big check coming your way?
I would hope so. Honestly, when something like that happens you can’t really plan it. You can’t plan for something that big to happen that quick. And so you really try to sit back and analyze the fallout from it, not just the occurrence that happened. But everything that happens around that.
Obviously you’ve seen the Miley Cyrus video, right?
Yes, sir. Miley hit me up that night.
Wait, so you and her have a relationship?
She hit me a while ago, like months and months and months ago telling me she was a fan of the record. And so, you know, we follow each other on Twitter. We DM each other every now and then, and I had no idea that she was going to post the video. And I was actually sick in bed at the time when she posted it. My phone starts going off like crazy from people hitting me up: “Have you seen it? Have you seen it?” And I didn’t know what they were talking about; I was about to turn my phone off. And then she messaged me, she was like ‘Did you check my Facebook page?’ I was like ‘Nah, I didn’t check it yet.” And I went and checked it and I saw the video and I was like ‘This is crazy.’ I was like ‘Do you realize what’s about to happen?’ She was like ‘Yeah, you dig it?’ I was like ‘I love it.’ We joked after that; we said we’re going to get matching unicorn tattoos.
Have you actually ever met her?
Not in person. We tried to meet last time in L.A. I was shooting a video in L.A., and she was actually supposed to come to the set, but she had some family stuff that was going on, and she wasn’t able to make it to the shoot. But next time I go back there, which should be in the next few weeks, we’re going to try to meet up.
What did you think of her dancing?
You know, she has successfully made twerking mainstream. And I say for that, she deserves a salute.
What has happened to you since the video dropped?
I’ve gotten a lot of Twitter followers recently. A lot of people hitting me on Facebook and Instagram and you get a lot of love on the social networks. The biggest change for me is that people are discovering other things from me now. And that’s something, as an independent artist, I struggled with for a while. Because you have a product that people know you for and we joke that “Wop” is the biggest record that nobody knows. Because “Wop” went gold before Miley Cyrus made that video, so like she made that song as mainstream as it can get. But it’s an unbelievable successfully song to be independent. And so, as an independent artist, you don’t want to be known as a one hit wonder, you want to make sure people realize this is what else I got. And me being a musician from childhood, I’m like, yeah, I did this thing but I really want you to check out all of these other things. That’s probably the biggest effect, other people are checking for me. People are discovering that I’ve been playing the piano for a long time, and I do music production as well, for movies and TV — stuff like that. People are realizing this dude might actually be a problem.
Explain your musical background a little bit.
I started playing piano when I was five. I played by ear. I took lessons for a minute, it was like classical stuff. I play by ear real strong. I can hear something one time and play it back. But the classical music got boring to me, because it was so structured. Then I got into blues and jazz music when I was 11, 12 years old. I was in Memphis on Beale Street as a 12 year old, in clubs, playing with the BB Kings and the Eric Claptons. I got to meet these people when I was that young. And those are the people I looked up to. So my musical background is very different than a lot of these dudes out here, man.
So what is it about rap that made you say, this is where I wanna take my music?
It was most relatable to me. It was the easiest way to get my story out. I had been playing piano for so long. I come from a very structured background. There wasn’t a lot of music played in my house. I had to go find it on my own. It was the thing that stuck with me the most. I was 14 years old, I discovered hip-hop, and I was like, I’m not going back to anything else.
Last year you put out Tabloid Truth, your debut album, are you happy with how it did, the reception it got?
It’s a bittersweet feeling for me, cause I got a gold record out of that album. And it was my first released single. You can’t really be mad at that as an independent artist. You can’t be mad at that, especially nowadays. But I felt like there was so much more of a message that didn’t really get highlighted on that album. And when people go back and listen to the songs like “Tabloid Truth” and “Take it Hard” they get a better sense of who I am as a person, not just as an artist. So you feel like that should have been highlighted more, but at the end of the day you take the good with the bad.
What do you have coming next?
I have a record I’m gonna release called “Winesday” featuring T.Pain that is, honestly, one of the hottest records I’ve ever heard. I’m just happy to be part of something so big.
It’s the first joint off of the new album, and it’s a huge, huge record, and it’s gonna be off a project that I am just finishing.
Rate Miley’s dancing in the video on a 1 to 10 scale.
In my opinion, I give it a 10 and half. You’re asking the person — she just changed my life. It’s changing my life, think about it this way: I got a gold record, I’ve had a lot of press, but never on the level to where somebody has made a dance to my song and on the next day it’s on Good Morning America.
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